BOZEMAN — Montana State cruised to a 2-0 start in conference play on Saturday.
Matt McKay tossed two touchdown passes, Isaiah Ifanse rushed for 114 yards and a score and MSU thumped Northern Colorado 40-7 at Bobcat Stadium to improve to 2-0 in the Big Sky Conference and increase its win streak to four games.
The Bobcats wasted no time finding the endzone on their opening drive, marching 75-yards in 11 plays and scoring on a 16-yard touchdown pass from McKay to Lance McCutcheon.
Callahan O'Reilly then picked off Dylan McCaffrey on UNC's ensuing drive, setting up McCutcheon's second touchdown, this one a 10-yard scoring run to put the Bobcats up 14-0 midway through the first quarter.
Blake Glessner tacked on a pair of short field goals (25 and 30 yards) to lift MSU's lead to 20-0 early in the second quarter. The Bears then got on the board on a 7-yard touchdown pass from McCaffrey to Kassidy Woods to cut the Bobcats' lead to 20-7 with just over two minutes remaining in the half.
Ifanse then scored on a 17-yard rushing touchdown to again put MSU up by 20 points before the half.
Glessner added two more field goals in the third quarter (41 and 21 yards) and McKay hit Andrew Patterson for a 44-yard touchdown pass to increase MSU's lead to 40-7.
TURNING POINT: O'Reilly's interception on what was UNC's fourth play of the game not only sparked another quick score to put the Bobcats up two touchdown but set MSU's defensive tone for the game. The Bobcats surrendered just 230 total yards against the Bears, 126 on the ground and 104 passing yards.
STAT OF THE GAME: Montana State's 552 yards of total offense was the Bobcats' highest output of the season so far. That yardage was also perfectly split between the passing and rushing game, with both accounting for 276 yards.
GAME BALLS: Glessner's leg accounted for 16 of Montana State's points as he converted four field goals and converted all four of his extra point attempts...freshman running back Elijah Elliott was held without a touchdown had 107 rushing yards...defensive back Ty Okada led the Bobcats' defense with 10 total tackles, two tackles for loss and an interception.
WHAT'S NEXT: Next Saturday, Montana State (4-1) will return to Bobcat Stadium for their homecoming game against the Cal Poly at 2 p.m.